WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – State and federal officials are pushing to reopen schools and get children back into classrooms for lessons. North Carolina’s health department is urging county districts to offer in-person instruction, with guidelines on safety.

Teachers say remote learning has been a challenge, one they and their students continue to face.

Beaufort County is trying to remove some of those challenges by expanding in-person instruction on March 22. The district will hold classes in seven of its schools for kids in the 6th through 12th grades.

They’ll be in school four days a week with six feet of social distancing between students. Parents can still opt to keep their children in remote learning, but Eastern Elementary teacher Lauren Hodges said that form of instruction is taking a toll on students.

(Ariana Kraft, WNCT photo)

“That social, emotional piece is very big for Beaufort County Schools,” Hodges said. “We still feel the loss of instruction, the loss of explicit instruction that we normally prefer face to face, so we’re making up for that time and we’re working hard.” 

Beaufort County Superintendent Matthew Cheeseman said these changes are a step in the right direction.

(Ariana Kraft, WNCT photo)

“We hope to see an uptick with our academics, we hope to see an uptick with social, emotional wellness, and quite frankly we just can’t wait to get our school community back together,” Cheeseman said.

Cheeseman is also looking ahead to the next school year. He said if the state requires a virtual learning option then, it will be up to parents to choose whether their children will spend the whole year in either in-person instruction or remote learning.